By Paula Planelles Manzanaro
The Artist was one of the main protagonists of the 2012 Oscars celebrated yesterday, winning five awards including best picture, best director and best actor. The film became the first silent movie to triumph at Hollywood’s most important awards since the World War I saga Wings was named the best film in the original ceremony in 1929. Hugo, by Martin Scorsese, also won five awards thanks to its outstanding technical part.
The 84th Academy Awards paid tribute to the nostalgic cinema, as the French black-and-white silent film The Artist finished the ceremony with five Oscars. Its creator, Michel Hazanavicius, who won best director on his first ever nomination, witnessed how The Artist was awarded with four more statuettes: best picture, best actor, best costume design and best original score.
“I am the happiest director in the world”, Havanavicius said, thanking the cast and crew. He also wanted “to thank the financier, the crazy person who put money in the movie”, which cost about $15 million to make. The French celebrity Jean Dujardi, who won best actor in a leading role, beat other well-known Hollywood names such as Brad Pitt, who was nominated for Moneyball, and George Clooney, for The Descendants.
Hugo, a 3D kids fantasy movie which serves a tribute to the early days of film-making with nowadays’ technology, also won five statuettes for art direction, sound editing, sound mixing, visual effects and cinematography. But the film’s name was also mentioned by another reason, when its main actor Sacha Baron Cohen carried out his threat and appeared dressed up as the lead character in his forthcoming movie, The Dictator.
Another Hollywood star who triumphed yesterday was Meryl Streep, winning best actress in a leading role for her performance as the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The actress, who has been nominated 17 times, thanked the Academy “for this inexplicably wonderful career”. “When they called my name I had this feeling I could hear half of America going: 'Aww no. Not her again'. But, you know, whatever”, she added.
The Canadian star Christopher Plummer, who won the best supporting actor award for Beginners, became the oldest Oscar winner at his 82 years old. “You’re only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all of my life?” he said, looking at the golden statuette.
The emotional part of the 2012 Oscars Academy Awards was carried out by Octavia Spenser, who won the best supporting actress prize for The Help, receiving a standing ovation from the audience after her speech.
By contrast, there was not a good night for the British-Northern Irish director Terry George, whose film The Shore was the most likely British film to triumph in the ceremony.